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Capital structure determinants: an empirical study of French companies in the wine industry

Jean‐Laurent Viviani (University of Montpellier I, Espace Richter Bat B Rue Vendemiaire, Montpellier, Cedex, France)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 6 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the leverage of French wine companies (410 companies) in the wine industry during the period 2000‐2004.

Design/methodology/approach

Different classical capital structure theories are reviewed (trade‐off theory (TOT), pecking order theory (POT) and dynamic TOT) in order to formulate testable propositions concerning the determinants of debt levels of the French wine companies. A number of regression models (classical and panel techniques) are developed to test the static theory of trade‐off against the POT.

Findings

The results suggest that POT seems to better explain leverage of French wine companies. Significant differences in debt ratio were found between cooperatives and other legal structures. Debt ratios are also different between sub‐sectors (wholesalers, wine growers, wine makers, etc.).

Practical implications

Cost of capital is one of the pillars of competitive advantage (or disadvantage) of companies. With the objective to minimize the cost of capital, it seems very important to know the potential determinants of an optimal capital structure.

Originality/value

This is a first study of capital structure determinants in the French wine industry which contributes to the current debate between competitive capital structure theories.

Keywords

Citation

Viviani, J. (2008), "Capital structure determinants: an empirical study of French companies in the wine industry", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 171-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511060810883786

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited